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Electric Fence Maintenance Checklist for Keeping Your Fence Effective

An electric fence maintenance checklist helps maintain the effectiveness of your fence and prolong its life. Learn about the different types of fence inspections and what tools you’ll need to begin maintenance. Download for free with the Lumiform app!

What is an Electric Fence Maintenance Checklist?

An electric fence maintenance checklist is vital for keeping your fence functioning effectively for a long time. Electric fencing is a powerful form of agricultural fencing. It can deter predators and keep your chickens, goats, sheep, cattle, or horses safe. Adding a couple of electric fence wires to other types of fences could also increase their effectiveness.

Electric fences come in various shapes and sizes. Their installation, testing, and testing process also varies.

You need adequate knowledge about all these things, so you can make sure your electric fence is always in good working condition. An electric fence maintenance checklist is a free guide you can use to make the maintenance process quick, painless, and as thorough as possible.

Let’s look at a few of the things you need to know to keep your electric fence in good working order.

In this article, the following points are explained:

1. Maintaining an electric fence

2. Common electric fence mistakes

3. A digital solution for electric fence maintenance

Farmhand fixing fence with an electric fence maintenance checklist

How do you Maintain an Electric Fence?

Electric fence troubleshooting and maintenance is important to keep electric fences effective at controlling the movement of animals on your farm. Poor maintenance could lead to damage and breakage which reduces the fence’s efficacy. It also increases the costs of maintenance.

The electric fence will only serve its purpose if it’s able to condition the animals so that they don’t push against the fence. Your electric fence maintenance checklist must be thorough so your fence is always working properly. If the fence is not working, it will become difficult to condition the animals. They will keep breaking in and out of your electric fence because they know it is weak.

Check the Voltage Frequently

Electricity is what makes the fence effective against the movement of animals. Checking the voltage of the fence ensures that there is no “leak,” or a loss of electricity and voltage in the fence.

Walk around the fence to test various points and lines using a voltmeter. All locations must show a good charge and each line must be functioning. If they are not, you will need to find out why. Possible causes are a short circuit and a broken insulator. Checking the voltage regularly can save a lot of time and minimize problems.

Some causes of low voltage in an electric fence are:

  • Excess vegetation
  • Broken or weak wires
  • Broken insulators
  • Broken and bent poles
  • Poor earth systems

Perform Weed Control

Your electric fence can stop working if there is excess vegetation growing alongside it. Plants or weeds can accumulate water, which makes them conductive to electricity. They cause a short as they grow up and touch the fence. This can lead to a waste of electricity and rob the fence of valuable power.

Your electric fence maintenance checklist must include regular trimming of weeds along your fence lines. You could also use a strong charger that can provide power to the fence even with excess vegetation. Still, you will need to do regular weed control.

How do you clean an electric fence?

First, you will need the following tools for cleaning and maintaining your electric fence:

  • Pinchers or pliers for cutting and tying wire
  • Wire strainers for pulling wire
  • Axe for removing vegetation touching the fence
  • Small claw hammer for fixing insulators and pulling out nails
  • Large hammer for various heavy work such as knocking in earth pegs
  • Hoe for clearing weeds and grass
  • Voltmeter for testing the voltage
  • Crowbar for digging holes when fixing damaged posts
  • Cloth for cleaning the solar panel
  • Distilled water for the battery

Check wire spacing and damaged insulators daily. Clear vegetation once per week and check for broken or weak fence posts once a month.

Purchase Replacement Materials

An electric fence maintenance checklist must remind you to purchase spares or replacement materials. Delays in the purchase of spares is one of the most common problems related to electric fence maintenance. Purchasing only after the electric fence stops working will reduce its effectiveness. Having a budget for repairs and keeping a stock of replacement materials can ensure that the fence will have no downtime.

Analyze Fence Monitor Reports

Having an effective electric fence monitoring system will allow you to monitor the performance of the fence. If you have a huge farm and several employees tending to the fence, the monitoring system can also help you monitor their performance. It will collect the necessary information that will allow you to do both tasks properly.

Some of the information you will need from your monitoring system are:

  • Voltages
  • Number of times animals have broken in and out of the electric fence
  • Locations of the break-ins and break-outs
  • Human activities and interference of the fence

Prepare for Winter Issues

The charge from your electric fence can get weaker or even stop emitting electricity completely during winter. This is because the soil is dry or frozen. Soils are more conductive when they are moist.

So, during winter months, have a ground-wire return circuit installed. This will facilitate better grounding and make your fence more effective.

If you have a solar electric fence charger, you must make sure that they don’t accumulate snow, debris, or fallen leaves so that they can continue receiving solar energy during winter. You could also invest in a backup battery or any alternative power supply.

What are the Common Mistakes People Make When Installing an Electric Fence?

There are common mistakes people make when installing an electric fence. Some of them are poor earth grounding, low-quality insulators, using wires that are too small, and the absence of a voltmeter. And even if the electric fence is properly installed, many farmers don’t know how to perform appropriate electric fence maintenance. That’s why an electric fence maintenance checklist can make a huge difference.

Testing an electric fence is another important skill to possess if you want to take advantage of this modern tool. Regular testing should be a part of your electric fence maintenance. You must, therefore, learn how to test an electric fence using a voltmeter. You must also understand how to perform a battery or power check, terminal test, ground rod test, and hook-up wire test.

How can a Digital Solution Streamline Electric Fence Maintenance?

Walking the perimeter of an electric fence every day is a time-consuming but necessary chore. Overgrown weeds, dirty solar panels, and debris caught on the fence can all lead to a lower voltage output, causing your livestalk to test their enclosure’s limits. It’s important to constantly check that the fence is running optimally, but it doesn’t have to take as long as it used to. With Lumiform’s super intuitive mobile app, you can conduct fence inspections up to 30%-40% faster than with a regular paper and pen checklist.

Take a look at some additional advantages Lumiform has to offer:

  • Avoid Costly Damages—By using a checklist to inspect your fencing, you can be rest assured to find all issues that might result in lost livestock before they jump the fence.
  • Save Time—You can convert any paper documents into a checklist within minutes. It’s super easy.
  • Increase Communication—Remotely assign inspections to employees and be instantly notified if there’s a problem with the fence.
  • The Convenience Factor—We’ve created more than 9,000 ready-made templates so you don’t have to. Add additional tasks specific to your company at the click of a button.
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Chicken peeking through the barbs on an electric fence
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